March 28th, 2012 by LittlestMusher | Posted in Be The Lead Dog, Your Dog is Your Coach
Tags: Applying the Lessons From the Dogs, Be the Lead Dog, Canine-Inspired Life, Human Canine Bond, Iditarod, life lessons from the dogs
This year’s Iditarod was an amazing race to follow, as a musher and a fan. Heck, especially just as a dog owner. Lots of drama, great performances, pathos, challenges, remembrances, and celebrations.
As I watched the race wind down, I remembered back to the end of my own Iditarod journey. I was bone tired, sore, stinky (really stinky), very tired of living in my snow suit. And I did NOT want it to be done.
The team and I had faced our fears, our questions, and came through it. Together, we had accomplished something incredibly special. It was an honor and a privilege to share the trail and the adventure with my dogs. And I didn’t want that to end, because I knew we would never be quite in that same place ever again.
When I was traveling on the beach, coming toward Nome, I passed summer houses and fish camps scattered throughout the outskirts. Various boats pulled up on shore for winter storage. Fish drying racks. Nome’s suburbs. I wasn’t exactly sure where I was, but I knew I was getting close judging from all the artifacts of civilization.
Then I heard IT…and it took me a second to realize what it was. The fabled tsunami siren, which blasts for every team approaching Nome. And I realized — they were blowing it for US.
That’s when it struck me that it was almost over. The cold, the pain, the mind-numbing fatigue. The magic carpet ride of this adventure, thanks to my amazing team. I spoke to the team and told them “Hey guys, this one’s for you!”
And I promptly lost it. We’re at Nome, we’re almost done with the race, and I can’t see or breathe for the tears. I did NOT want it to end.
To this day, I can not tell that story without choking up.
Why? Proud of my team? Of course. Happy to have finished and accomplished my goal? Absolutely.
But the siren meant so much more to me than just finishing, just Iditarod. The tears were for the unspeakably deep bond I share with those dogs, because we accomplished something together. The bond itself has profoundly shaped my life, in so many ways.
After Iditarod I’ve dedicated my life toward helping others share that bond, so you can tap into that heart-to-heart connection with your own dog. There’s many ways to do that…not everyone need be crazy enough to run the Iditarod to get it.
What’s the best way to connect with your dog? Do it on your dog’s terms, of course. And what comes naturally to dogs? Playing.
Playing games, figuring out the oddities of life with humans, developing everyday problem solving. Playing with your dog at home to Learn new skills, have new experiences. Expanding their horizons…right in your own back yard.
When your dog figures out they can do something…you figure out something about yourself. When you help them expand their horizons, you expand your own. You both have fun, you both learn, you both win.
Join us for the next session of Lead Dog Games for Life. Get more info here. Have your own Iditarod-style epiphany and get truly connected with your dog.
Your dog is patiently waiting…